FIJI TIMES ONLINE
By THERESA RALOGAIVAU Thursday, April 23, 2009
MORE than 2000 Rabi islanders are expected to take to the polls starting today to elect a new island council. The term of the old council expired yesterday in accordance with provisions of the Banaban Settlement Act which dictates the demise of the old council on the eve of election. Altogether 22 candidates from the four villages on the island -- Tabiang, Tabewa, Uma and Buakonikai -- will contest the election. Sixteen candidates vie for the four general seats and 14 for four elders' seats on the eight-member council. Council director Molly Amon said expectations have built up as election date draws nearer.
"This is perhaps the biggest event we hold every four years and there is a hive of activity on the island as government officials arrive to set up the polling booths," she said.
Divisional Planning officer Ratu Eliki Tikoidraubuta said four polling teams depart for Rabi this morning to set up booths in the villages. "Postal ballot which is managed by the district officers commences tomorrow (today) at Suva, Labasa and Lautoka for those that cannot make it across to the island," he said. Polling wll start at 8am and end at 5pm in Suva at the Banaban office, Lautoka and Labasa and the district offices. Outgoing chairman Mr Teiwa Rewi said an issue that the islanders would keep at the back of their minds while choosing a new council would be the economic development of the island.